35 Things Every PC User Should Know

Page 12 of 21

Safeguard Your Cell Phone Data With a Backup

Increasingly, people have essential data stored on a fragile, easily misplaced communications device that they carelessly toss around. Here's how to back up the data on your cell phone.

First, check your handset's manual or product Web page: A backup program designed specifically for that phone may be available for download. For phones with a USB charger, connect the handset to your PC via a USB cable with a mini-USB plug on one end. Use the software you find on the vendor's site to back up contact information to your PC.

If your phone doesn't have such an application, check out FutureDial SnapSync II, a $30 utility that supports most cell phones. Click the Is my phone supported? link on its site to make sure yours is on the list. A data cable costs an additional $30. SnapSync can also sync your data with Microsoft Outlook, as well as export numbers back to the phone. If SnapSync doesn't support your phone, consider Susteen DataPilot Universal Pro, which includes seven phone connectors, iPod and Bluetooth adapters, and backup software for $80. It supports hundreds of phones; to check for yours before you buy, go to Susteen's Phone Support page.

For SIM-equipped cell phones, use the Clipper Gear SIM Saver ($20) to make a backup copy of the card in less than a minute (but you can't then back up SIM Saver to your PC; it talks only with the SIM card).

Another option is Spark Technology's CellStik ($40), which looks like a USB thumb drive and attaches directly to your phone. A USB connector on the other end lets you hook up to a PC to back up and edit the data, which you can then transfer to the phone.

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